Twinsburg presses pause on winter sports season

Steve Batko
Correspondent
Twinsburg's Dante' Yarbrough looks to shoot during a game against Hudson last season. Boys basketball and all other sports in the Twinsburg City School District has been put on hold until Dec. 7.

The entire Twinsburg school district will have a pause on all athletic and extracurricular activities following a 5-0 vote by the Twinsburg Board of Education Nov. 18 at the regular evening meeting.

This pause will last until Dec. 7, at which point the administration and the Board of Education will evaluate current data to determine whether activities can continue safely.

For athletics, the pause will affect the winter sports season, especially the early pre-season and regular season events, including all practices, scrimmages and regular-season contests.

“As we move past Thanksgiving weekend, the administration and Board of Education will evaluate where things stand and determine the next course forward,” said Brian Fantone, Twinsburg’s athletic director and coordinator of K-12 student activities.

“We are certainly hopeful that things will improve quickly to the point where we will be able to get all of our student-athletes and students involved in extracurricular activities back and practicing/competing with their teams on December 7th,” said Fantone.

The safety and health of students and student athletes in the school district are the priority.

“Our goal is to provide a healthy and safe environment for our student-athletes to be able to participate in as much of a winter sports season as possible,” stressed Fantone.

“We will be rescheduling games from the end of November and beginning of December to later in the year to ensure that our kids have as many opportunities to compete as possible,” added Fantone.

Rescheduling details will come at a later date.

“I can't say enough about the job our student-athletes and coaches have done here in Twinsburg in regards to following all of the health and safety protocols we have put in place,” said Fantone.

“As we shift from fall sports to winter sports, I want to acknowledge the fact that we got through the entire fall sports season in all sports without having to cancel or postpone a game due to COVID-19 issues within our own teams,” said Fantone.

“I fully trust that our winter sport coaches and student-athletes will take that exact same approach, as I know they all want their seasons,” he Fantone.

Taking a one day at a time approach, Twinsburg’s varsity fall coaches often creatively slated Senior Night games early in the regular season to ensure that these student-athletes were honored even if the season only lasted one week.

“I'm lucky here at Twinsburg to have a coaching staff that leads by example, and buys into the mentality of sacrificing for the benefit of everyone involved in athletics,” offered Fantone.

Girls basketball games that have been cancelled include a road game at Cleveland Lutheran East Nov. 24, followed by a game at Nordonia at Dec. 2  and home clash against Cuyahoga Falls Dec.5.

Other known varsity contests that have been postponed include bowling, both the Tigers’ boys and girls’ teams.

Those bowling contests that have been postponed include the Suburban League Pre-Season Tournament Nov. 21, followed by games against Cuyahoga Falls Nov. 23, Medina Highland Nov. 30, and North Royalton Dec. 2.

Twinsburg Ice hockey, boys basketball, girls swimming and diving and wrestling did not have finalized schedules published, while gymnastics was not slated to begin until Dec. 7, according to the OHSAA.